Let your common sense tell you. Sit in on a class or two at a local dojo, find a book or two, where the cover doesn't have someone screaming or someone with a severe look on his/her face.
I took shorin-ryu karate for a while, as well as another student in our class. While maybe not similar to your style, the point is there is a fundamental difference compared to aikido: the "do".
Aikido techniques are, at the simplest, self-defense movements which us your attacker's energy against him/her. At the heart of aikido is the understanding that aikido's usefulness STARTS on the mat, not ends.
The "do" is a way of life, so most of us try to apply our principles to everyday living. Aikido addresses both times in your life: the 99.99% when you aren't 'fighting', and the .01% you might be in a serious conflict.