I'm not which is easier for people: having someone you know and like critique your story, or someone that is a total stranger.
With a friend or family member, you trust and respect them, and their opinion means more to you than a stranger's opinion does. The impact of their opinion can be both a blessing and curse. If they like it, it means more than if a stranger says they like it. If they dislike it, it means more than if a stranger says they dislike it.
The odd thing about writing is that you feel unconfident about one story, but you feel more confident about another. I'm not sure how dependable those feelings are, though.
For example, I write four hundred drafts of my manuscript and always feel that I need to edit and polish it more before it's good enough for anyone else to see it. Sometimes I pluck up my courage and send a draft to my friend through e-mail to read. Five seconds later, I decide I need to change several aspects of the story, rewrite things, edit things, etc. Then when I see my friend later, I tell her to forget the draft I sent her, because it's way different now.
On the other hand, there was a short story I wrote a while back that I felt fairly confident about. Someone I know read it, and said they didn't really enjoy it and that it had a poor ending. Now that I think about it, I realize that it is a rather crummy storyline. I feel that I didn't execute it very well, and I don't know where my mind was when I ended the story. Was I in a hurry to complete the story, or couldn't think of a good ending? Either way, the ending isn't very good, and isn't really an ending at all. Nothing really changes for the better or the worse.
Sometimes when I look back at things I wrote or drew a long time ago, it seems like I see it in the same way I saw it then, rather than bringing any sort of present-day opinion into it. Does anyone else have this issue?