I have found myself feeling jealous at other artists whose work might not be well-received, and yet they are able to contain all the enthusiasm they need to keep going, within themselves. To do that, you need to be able to fill this well with your reason for doing this, your belief – maybe even knowledge that your work is worthwhile and that it is important to keep going. Critique that feels personal makes it so hard to take constructive advice out of that. You feel bad, as a person. That means everything you ever make will fail, instead of this particular work that might need something.
I joked with the friend in that conversation about how maybe right now, in my break between school, work and projects, I am trying to counteract the effects of grad school, like it was so damaging that I need to repair myself first. It makes me really angry that it's not the norm to teach students how to fill their well with their own personal enthusiasm. It is possible to critique constructively while encouraging that person to keep going, keep exploring. Are academics bitter husks who feel the need to perpetuate the same crappy system? What did I pay for, to feel like crap? I could have done that at home.