I have joined a writing group. Meetup.com has about every group that you can think of and a new writing group if forming fairly close to me. The first meeting is next week and an agenda will have to be established. I was in a poetry group before and another writing group before that. Burkowski used to mock writing groups and readings as just another way to fuck off and not do any actual writing, but feel good about yourself that you are doing something. There is also at close to the worst level of a group, that the group really doesn't do any work and just hangs out. But, I like to be able to talk to people that have the same interest that I do and hear what they are doing.
There is everything in between. I have submitted hundreds of poems and been rejected thousands of times so I like to think that my skin is a little thicker and I can handle critcism. However its natural to want to hear good things about your work and to set up a nice critique one has to supply nice critiques to others. Of course you don't want to hurt others feelings either. The middle course often seems to be the answer. "You know what I really like...., but perhaps you could work on this."