When faced with criticism, one runs the risk of a trial by fire, which can feel equally abusive. The point here, though, is that of facing critical appraisal of one's work, be it poetry, prose, or any other style of writing.
Testing one's metal, though initially daunting, need not inspire fear. It is a necessary device for proving the merit of ones work. Without it, the writer can call prey to self delusion, or to acknowledgements that are overtly effusive.
I find it a difficult task to locate trustworthy and candid critics beyond my own family, who are my best critics. They are willing to scrutinize my poems and to give me an honest, sometimes disappointing, appraisal. I am most fortunate in this.
It's easy to accept the accolades of well meaning readers, or of those who are reluctant to hurt the writer's feelings. There are also those who simply find it difficult to give a meaningful account of their reactions to a work.
In such cases, both the work and the writer can fall heir to prolonged stagnation. Beyond my own family, the issue has become one of sometimes begging for criticism. Essentially, when there are no walls to bounce off of, how can one define oneself?