What is the association of devotees? It does not mean that being around with people with tilak and shaved heads or with saris. It means engaging in the nine processes of bhakti (devotional service) together.
Association can make us convinced about anything.
Faith comes by hearing Krishna Katha in the association of sincere devotees regularly.
At every moment of life, according to our association, we are being conditioned, habituated and put in a state of mental bondage.
Good association creates enthusiasm and a divine purpose to our service.
When due to false pride, you disrespect exalted Vaishnavas, You become attracted to bad association. That bad association corrupts and destroys your devotion.