The key to empathy and compassion and therefore freedom from hurt, is to observe.
Those that are the most angry , vindictive, manipulative or in the victim mode etc are actually the ones carrying the heaviest burdens of fear and insecurities.
When you realise this, you see others in a different light. Understanding gives one compassion and ultimately the freedom from the pain that they try to inflict upon you.
In fact, the understanding puts you in a plane much higher than one they can reach. They are not able to hurt you anymore.