With all the concern of so many for personal popularity, it’s interesting to read what Solomon, the man to whom God gave more wisdom than any other except for the Lord Jesus himself, had to say about it:
“A man of many companions may come to ruin
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Solomon rather advised quality over quantity with friends, and depth of friendship rather than just popularity. Understanding this can keep a person from doing foolishness in pursuit of popularity and being liked by the crowd. Popularity and pleasing the peer group can become an idol in itself for many, but wisdom seeks through that for the false god that it is.
Here’s another thing that Solomon had to say:
“He who walks with the wise grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
People who are wise may not be popular, and hanging with them may bring some ridicule from the fools who seek someone’s companionship instead. In the long run, though real wisdom – defined in scripture as living a godly and productive life in God’s universe according to God’s rules – is far preferable to the harm that comes from pursuing close relationships with fools.