# Why are noble gases stable? [duplicate]

Generally, noble gases are very unreactive. Why?

I understand that it has to do with electron shielding prospective electrons that could join the atom or leave and the energies associated with both actions, but why are 5 electrons in the p orbital (to take Fluorine as an example) so much worse in shielding the nuclear charge than 6 (Neon)?

What IS electron shielding, anyway? I understand it in the classical lie-to-children way, but not satisfactorily.

Example: Neon has an electron configuration of $1s^2 2s^2 1p^6$, which simply means that it has a full $1s$ orbital (the maximum is 2 electrons as denoted by the superscript), and has a full valence shell which is the $2s$ and $1p$ orbitals (which is the valence shell for molecules in row 2).
Now for neon to lose an electron (to bond) it would have to take an electron out of a full orbital ($1p$), which is what makes molecules reactive (a non-full valence shell), and would just take the electron right back.
Think of Ne$^+$ as more electronegative (wanting electrons) than elemental Fluorine, so it will pull an electron from almost anything and go back to its elemental form.