If you’re looking for proofreaders, editors, colleagues, or friends, here’s what you should look for: loyal opposition. Look for those who love you and look forward to your work and want you to succeed, but will call you out when you’re not giving your best, or if your best isn’t good enough (yet).
Critics can be terrible, but you need them. Avoid are the trolls, those who will tear you down to make themselves feel better, those who lack empathy and lash out at those who dare to try because there’s nothing stopping them from doing so. Avoid them like the plague. That’s what they are.
But the constructive critics? Embrace them. Criticism given from a place of love is the most valuable thing an artist can hope for. That doesn’t mean you have to take their advice, but you should damn well pay attention. Just make sure the people whose advice you listen to are those who actually care, those who may oppose you, but do it because they too believe in what you’re doing.
Then hold onto them tightly and never let them go.