I spent much of my younger years fighting in bars and bad places. When I lost, it hurt. When I won, it hurt. Real fighting hurts. When I was doing that I had had no training in martial arts.
I submit to you that martial artists do not live in such a way that getting in street fights is a usual occurrence.
Given that I am unlikely to have to use Aikido in a fight with someone who has trained in martial arts, because (as a general rule) martial artists get all of that out of their systems at the training hall, I have found that Aikido serves quite nicely against the type of low-life scum that would start a fight with me.
Should I ever need to defend myself against someone who starts grappling and/or striking like an expert, you can rest assured that I'll find some way to use the principles of Aikido combined with the spiritual forging I've undertaken to come out alive (or not, and in that case I win too, but that's another string...). I train in principles using techniques as tools for learning. I am not above eye gouging, biting, shooting, chair swinging, or whatever else allows me to stay alive if needed, but when I have a choice, I prefer to use the more elegant solution of both staying safe and keeping my attacker safe.
My Aikido training has helped me make choices that preclude me from being in the situations where "people are always starting stuff with me".
Martial Arts should allow someone who has issues with "what works" to feel safe. But beware of looking for an art that will teach you the technique(s) that will make you invincible, it doesn't exist. That kind of thing comes from an understanding of true principles and severe training which build confidence and stamina and quality of movement and relaxation. My advice: stop looking around at this and that and start some severe training somewhere.