(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)
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Lone pairs in particular will occupy equatorial positions because that's where they face the least repulsion (more energetically favorable). For example, for a trigonal bipyramidal structure, if you have the lone pair on the axial plane, it'll be 90 degrees away from 3 regions of electron density but if you have the lone pair on the equatorial plane, it'll be 90 degrees away from only 2 regions of electron density, so this is favored.
Also the best way to think about the shapes is to visualize them. The most stable shapes with have electron densities symmetrically arranged around the central atom that will result in the least amount of repulsion.
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