Critiques can be incredibly hard to hear the first few times, but they are needed. A critic is a reader who looks at the writing rather than the story. A reader can see the story in a way a writer cannot.
I have a habit of getting somewhat defensive when I get one, explaining my reasons for doing something they pointed out. Then, five minutes later, I realize they are trying to point out things so future readers won’t be distracted by them.
There have been a few times where I thanked them and left it as it was, then later on a reader would have the same issues.
They saw the story in a way I was too close to see.
Sometimes critics will point out issues that are really just about their personal preference. They aren’t always right. So I have something in the introduction saying that if a reader agrees with a critics comment, reply ‘agree’ to the critique. If they don’t, reply ‘don’t agree’.
The way I see it, a critic and editor help to take the story and help you to make it the story you saw in your head. They are there to help you make your story more enjoyable for future readers.