I believe that aikido offers a wonderful outlet for gentle and even timid people to come out of their shells, to engage in a controlled amount of physicality and to develop a level of self-confidence that they had lacked.
Probably, one could gain these benefits in various non-violent, non-aggressive, non-contact sports, such as swimming, but aikido provides a nice balance of athleticism (rolling, etc.) and having to be in physical contact with other people in a non-threatening way.
Aikido dojo vary in "personality," but there are many that provide the non-confrontational physicality, cooperative and non-aggressive environment that is appropropriate for people of gentle temperament. That's the beauty of it. I'm glad you could find just the right fit to suit your needs, Mary.
Please note, though, that aikido may also be more "intense," physically and "martially" depending on the nature of the individuals who are teaching. I've been in aikido dojo where the level of intensity might be off-putting to someone seeking only a tranquil, meditative pursuit.
It's all good, in my opinion. You seek and find the environment that best fits your individual needs. For that reason, don't feel you must chastise the Big Boys who like to rock 'n' roll and extol the virtues of the things they love. They may seem rambunctious of manner, but they are just singing their own song, like you. There's room for many different songs in these forums.