As a person, I'm a bit of a people-pleaser. I tend to bend over backward to avoid conflict and make people happy. I've reached the point in my writing process where I've started to send out drafts of my work to beta readers to get feedback. However, I've started to notice a bit of a problem in that, when I get feedback, I feel compelled to incorporate it all in and kind of unthinkingly accept reader interpretations of things.
In particular, there is one plot point one of my beta readers doesn't like that sets up an important subplot that leads to a lot of juicy conflict between the lead characters and a minor antagonist. Because they're reading in linear order, they only see the comparatively black-and-white event and don't see the more nuanced consequences of it. It touches on a touchy subject (namely, trauma), but it looks at a specific aspect of trauma that is whitewashed or played for laughs in most media, and saying it should be changed is the exact response that kind of thing often gets. Nevertheless, I can see why people wouldn't like it. Regardless of whether the idea is good or not, I'm noticing that my mindset is starting to slip towards "it's bad/wrong" simply because the reviewer said it was bad rather than based on any coherent argument. I think if I had an issue where one beta reader hated a particular plot point and wanted it removed and another thought it was great and demanded it be kept, I would probably short-circuit.
I don't think the problem is any specific plot point, it's that I see it as a symptom that if I made every change beta readers suggested I would end up with a work that doesn't take any risks and loses it's impact. Though at the same time, I want to write things that are enjoyable to read rather than making a didactic point.
To clarify, I'm not asking how to shut out criticism entirely, claiming that my vision is perfect and must be protected at all costs. This is the entire problem, I know that feedback is critical for improving a novel and ironing out the areas an author might have a blind spot for, but this also makes me liable to incorporate every change someone insists upon regardless of how it affects the plot. But if I bend over backward to incorporate every change that people ask of me, I'll end up with a bland, unfocused mess, especially if it involves cutting out plot points that set up later conflict. How does someone determine when it is better to stick to one's vision or when it is better to make beta reader-suggested changes, especially if you know that neither you nor the beta reader are going to be objective in assessing the work.
The only rule of thumb I have been able to figure out is: If multiple people have a problem with the same element of the story, it is probably a good idea to change it. But that doesn't help when I feel myself turning away from plot points when only one beta reader says something is wrong.