There are many differences between Aikido and most other martial arts. Aikido is only self defense. There is no kicking, punching or competition.
Beyond that, people seek out Aikido for personal growth and fitness. They stay because students are friendly, cooperative and helpful, and also looking for personal growth.
So what is this personal growth? It’s a practice of staying calm when aggressive energy is focused at you and then dealing with that energy to stop it, but without harming the aggressor. It’s a means of redirecting this aggressive energy without getting caught up in it. This can work for you everywhere: at work, school, home and the dojo (practice area). It reduces the body’s natural instinct of “fight, flight or freeze.” And it helps the Aikido student truly see the world around them as it really is. What seems aggressive may be innocent. What seems friendly may not be. Aikido gives you the time and space to work this out, and then respond appropriately.