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This concept is similar to how when an atom has a 4s orbital filled and a 3d orbital with 9 electrons, it is actually at a lower energy to remove one of the electrons from the 4s orbital and add it to the 3d orbital to create a full 3d orbital. It is basically a matter of an atom having an electron configuration with the lowest energy possible because that creates the most stable version. In this situation, the energy required to have an electron in an orbital that already has an electron in it (and therefore has repulsion) is more than the energy required to just put an electron in an unpaired orbital. Since the unpaired orbital is only slightly higher in energy fro the hybrid orbital, the difference in energy is close enough that it makes more sense to have an unpaired electron in that slightly higher energy orbital.
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