Critiques... The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Critique groups are a wonderful thing, but there are several sides to wonderful.
The Good: if you have a great group of writers who care about growing as writers and who can critique honestly and kindly the critique group results will be good. You will learn from the critique and you will write tighter with more success. You will produce work worth publishing and you will gain confidence.
The Bad: if your group is critical, shows any signs of jealousy amongst the writers, or become hateful in their discussion of your work or the work of others, then this can be a bad thing. You can actually loose what confidence you had and become blocked as a writer. It may even make some of you turn away from writing. This would not be good.
The ugly: I had a critique partner on that started out being very kind and helpful until my publisher refused to accept her manuscript. The said critique buddy had taken advantage of my relationship with a very small publisher on a very limited financial path who simply could not afford to produce the work of my friend as fast as she thought it should be published so it was rejected. I took the heat in the way of very nasty emails, hateful actually and I have been skeptical of critque groups since this incident.