I am often asked to critique my friends’ work. I consider it an occupational hazard.
While I don’t mind doing critiques, they do present a few challenges and I always proceed with caution. This is especially true with new and unpublished writers, although it’s tricky with anyone who does not know my critique style. The last thing I want is to alienate another writer or come off as harsh, but I admit I have been blamed of that in the past. The problem is that what I consider a constructive critique (one that I ask for myself) is more detailed and direct than most writers want.