i recently read something that suggested you should choose your friends based on the way others see them. not in so many words, but it presented the idea that if you hang out with social retards, then you are a social retard too, and you deserved to be judged as such. ditch the social retard friend and you ditch the social retard label.
one, we've all seen those 80s movies that call people on their bad behavior for doing just that. two, and perhaps most importantly, that belief is loaded with hypocrisy. people that present such ideas also usually suggest that you not change what interests you. so if you are a comic-book nerd or into star trek, you simply own it and be enthusiastic about it, and others will be too.
the hypocrisy lies in the suggestion you cave in to people's perceptions about the people you hang out with but not in the hobbies you pursue.
now, people might judge you based on the friends you have. and if you crave the approval of others, do what you can to get it, including dumping loyal friends simply because you think it will help you gain popularity.
but you have to ask yourself whose approval you are gaining by doing dumping your friends. are they as loyal and entertaining as your current friends? do you enjoy yourself more in their company? if so, those are good reasons to upgrade friends.
but if you enjoy a person's company regardless of how they are perceived by others, there is no reason to ditch them just to become popular. you can still make more friends without losing your old ones.
the things you do and the people you surround yourself with have to be there because you genuinely enjoy doing such things and those people's company. if you don't, stop doing them and stop seeing them immediately. being a man isn't about how others perceive you but rather about how you feel about the things and people that surround you. and a man surrounds himself by those things and people he loves, regardless of how outsiders judge him for it.
be a man.